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flick pick | Love and other Catastrophes 1996
Directed by: Emma-Kate Croghan
Starring: Frances O'Connor, Alice Garner, Matt Day, Matthew Dyktynski 
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: Comedy, foreign [Australia]
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something:
quintessentially quasi-adult, witty

Plot synopsis Mia and Alice are two university students sharing a house and struggling to manage school, relationships, and the search for an acceptable third roommate. Bold and occasionally-solipsistic Mia initiates a nasty break-up from her long-time girlfriend Danni, then finds her life further complicated by the academic bureaucracy hell of attempting to change courses. Timid Alice, on the other hand, struggles to finish her thesis ["Doris Day as Feminist Warrior"] while agonizing over the seeming impossibility of finding a boyfriend with whom she can actually hold a meaningful conversation. She meets Ari, a too-beautiful playboy Classics major, and promptly begins to obsess, this despite the fact that he’s obviously all wrong for her. Meanwhile Michael, a sweet but slightly too straight-laced pre-med, has both fallen for Alice and, by a not-so-remarkable coincidence, is looking for someplace to live.

Review This movie is a sort of Australian Reality Bites, if that whiny Winona Ryder-Ethan Hawke flick had actually succeeded in demonstrating anything resembling wit, insight, or charm. Like Reality Bites, it’s a movie about early twenty-something-dom – that angst-filled period of the human life cycle that’s characterized by fear of loss-of-youthful-idealism, ambivalence over the whole commitment issue, utter self-absorption, and an inexplicable obsession with pop culture. The movie’s low-budget feel and stylistic quirks keep the tone strictly light, but the fact that it never takes itself too seriously actually works to its advantage – we’re allowed to focus on the well-acted and likeable characters, without being distracted to the point of irritation over any grand statements that might be made about the youthful generation that they represent.



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